55th Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy (2017) (GBR)
Ian Turnbull takes the win; the first time a Musto Skiff has won
Report by Steve Robson;
Photos by Tim Olin
Circa 230 competitors were greeted on Saturday 1st July with Bright Blue skies and building breeze.
Ian Turnbull who was last in a Musto Skiff @ 9 years ago, took the Ovington Demo boat by the scruff of the neck, renamed it ‘Ropes4Boats’ and set about pimping to give him the best chance.
At 1pm, the gun started the long slog up to the top of Ullswater. All competitors away 1st time and a breakaway formed with x3 49ers, x2 VX1’s x1 International 14 and x4 Musto skiffs (Ian Turnbull, Stuart Keegan, Steve Robson and Josh Moran).
Once round the corner Ian changed gear and disappeared off into the distance, managing the shifty and gusty conditions and keeping in touch with the 49ers leaving the other Musto’s to race against each other.
Some great downwind sailing once clear of the islands allowed positions to be clawed back after extremely shifty conditions and powerful gusts at Glenridding saw capsizes a plenty throughout the fleet.
After corrected time, saw Ian Turnbull with 3 points, Stuart Keegan 10, Josh Moran 64, Steve Robson 66, Ian Escritt 137, Callum Findlay 165 and Neil Robinson Retired.
An evening of local Beers, Wood fired Pizza oven and various pulled meat wraps saw many competitors late into the night.
Sunday saw a slightly cooler day with more cloud, shiftier conditions and a bit less wind strength. The Race officer was prompt with an 11am start, but with everyone eager to get started ended up with a General recall and the inevitable Black Flag was hoisted. A further 2 attempts were made before finally everyone getting away on the 4th start. Again a breakaway formed of 49ers, 14 and 4 Musto skiffs with Ian Turnbull showing the way again keeping in touch with the 49ers.
At the top end of the lake, conditions were even more tricky, light and flukey than Saturday and a game of Snakes and ladders ensued for the fleet keeping everyone entertained (not)!!
Some beautiful gusts took Stuart Keegan, Steve Robson and Ian Escritt back towards the front of the fleet gaining time and distance.
Congratulations to Ian Turnbull took line honors for the Musto fleet and after corrected time taking home the
55th Lord Birkett Trophy.
Other Mustos ...
42nd GBR556 Steve Robson
54th GBR481 Josh Moran
82nd GBR334 Ian Escritt
114th GBR384 Stuart Keegan Unfortunately fell foul of the black flag
182nd GBR448 Callum Findlay
186th GBR212 Neil Robinson